Barack Obama Weathering The Hillary Clinton Storm In Pennsylvania

My initial thoughts over the comments made recently by Barack Obama, and blown way the heck out of proportion by everyone else, have proved thus far to be correct.  The public is not being swayed by the negative attempts by Hillary Clinton and right-wing radio stations to twist and distort the words spoken by Obama.

The latest Quinnipiac Poll shows no dip in polling numbers for Obama in Pennsylvania, where the state’s primary will be held next Tuesday.   While Obama is still behind in the state, and where it is widely expected that Clinton wins (though still being far behind in delegates) the important thing is that the public is seeing through the campaign style of his opponent, and not letting it register.

There was no noticeable change in the matchup in polling April 12 – 13, following widespread media reports on Sen. Obama’s ‘bitter’ comments.

In theSurveyUSA poll there was again signs that Obama has weathered the worst of the storm.

56% say they did not find the comments to be offensive; 40% say they did find them offensive.53% of conservatives say they were personally offended by the remarks; 52% of Republicans say they were not offended. By nearly 2:1, Democrats say they did not find the remarks offensive.

And of course Obama continues his lead nationally over Hillary Clinton, the latest Gallup numbers being 50%-40%.

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Barack Obama And John McCain Coffee Blends Made To Drink

This seems highly appropriate for a blog called Caffeinated Politics!

I would suspect that coffee might be a drink of choice often on the campaign trail, if not for the candidates themselves, then surely for the campaign staffers.  Now there is word that blends of coffees have been made for the candidates…..well most of them.

They’re roasting presidential candidates on Bill Hill, which is not nearly the same as grilling them.

Ashlawn Farm Coffee has introduced an Obama Blend, a “sweet, balanced” combination of “dark and light roasted coffees from Kenya, Java and the Americas,” and American Hero Coffee, “a light-roasted, highly caffeinated” brew that’s “edgy, strong,” made from beans grown in Vietnam. The latter’s redolent, you might say, of Sen. John McCain.

But what about a Hillary Brew?

That, says Carol Dahlke, Ashlawn co-owner and roaster, is … uh … in development.

“She doesn’t really lend herself to her own coffee blend,” Dahlke says of Sen. Hillary Clinton, who trails Sen. Barack Obama in the race for the Democratic nomination. “If she’s still in it after Pennsylvania (site of an April 22 primary), we’ll have to come up with something. … I’ve had no divine inspiration.”

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Time Magazine’s “Raising Obama” A Great (Must) Read

How Barack Obama’s mother made him who he is will make for a great read for Democrats who support him, and Republicans who need to know more about the next President of the United States.  Time Magazine presents a well-written piece.  Anyone who knows the story of Obama as a child, or cares about the impact that his mom had on his life, will find reading this time well spent.  A portion is here below.

“When I think about my mother,” Obama told me recently, “I think that there was a certain combination of being very grounded in who she was, what she believed in. But also a certain recklessness. I think she was always searching for something. She wasn’t comfortable seeing her life confined to a certain box.”

Obama’s mother was a dreamer. She made risky bets that paid off only some of the time, choices that her children had to live with. She fell in love—twice—with fellow students from distant countries she knew nothing about. Both marriages failed, and she leaned on her parents and friends to help raise her two children.

“She cried a lot,” says her daughter Maya Soetoro-Ng, “if she saw animals being treated cruelly or children in the news or a sad movie—or if she felt like she wasn’t being understood in a conversation.” And yet she was fearless, says Soetoro-Ng. “She was very capable. She went out on the back of a motorcycle and did rigorous fieldwork. Her research was responsible and penetrating. She saw the heart of a problem, and she knew whom to hold accountable.”

Today Obama is partly a product of what his mother was not. Whereas she swept her children off to unfamiliar lands and even lived apart from her son when he was a teenager, Obama has tried to ground his children in the Midwest. “We’ve created stability for our kids in a way that my mom didn’t do for us,” he says. “My choosing to put down roots in Chicago and marry a woman who is very rooted in one place probably indicates a desire for stability that maybe I was missing.”

Ironically, the person who mattered most in Obama’s life is the one we know the least about—maybe because being partly African in America is still seen as being simply black and color is still a preoccupation above almost all else. There is not enough room in the conversation for the rest of a man’s story.

But Obama is his mother’s son. In his wide-open rhetoric about what can be instead of what was, you see a hint of his mother’s credulity. When Obama gets donations from people who have never believed in politics before, they’re responding to his ability—passed down from his mother—to make a powerful argument (that happens to be very liberal) without using a trace of ideology. On a good day, when he figures out how to move a crowd of thousands of people very different from himself, it has something to do with having had a parent who gazed at different cultures the way other people study gems.

It turns out that Obama’s nascent career peddling hope is a family business. He inherited it. And while it is true that he has not been profoundly tested, he was raised by someone who was.

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American Troop Levels Will Remain Too High In War-Ravaged Iraq

There have been many pundits who have argued over the past months that the Iraq War was no longer the main issue in this election year.  Housing woes and health care, as part of the overall ailing economy, were seen to be the issues that most Americans were now stressing to pollsters as more important than the war.  The fact that the national price tag for the war is damaging the national economy seems forgotten by many Americans. 

To be sure the economy is a major issue that makes many uneasy, but after the Congressional hearings today and Wednesday I think the Iraq war will again become an issue.  The smooth talk from Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker does not quite balance out the fact that 4,000 Americans have been killed, and the lull in violence in Iraq has now started to climb once again.

The fact that there have been no real political answers applied in Iraq over the past year, while the whole purpose of the ‘surge’ was to allow for that very thing, is unsettling.  The lead paragraph from the New York Times seems to place the right somber tone for the nation.

The senior commander of multinational forces in Iraq warned Congress Tuesday against removing “too many troops too quickly” and refused under stiff questioning to offer even an estimate of American force levels by the end of this year.

There is no end to the conflict, and no hope for an end given the current political climate in Washington, D.C.  Instead of hoping that the war will somehow end if we just no longer concentrate on it is folly.  The economy is rough, but the war should be the top priority this election cycle as it deals with international, economic, legal, and moral aspects of our lives as citizens.

It is time for the war to be back on page one above the fold in our morning papers.

In stating the Democratic Party’s case against administration war policy, Senator Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said that Mr. Bush’s goal of creating “breathing room” for political progress by sending five additional combat brigades last year “has not been achieved.”

“That reality leads many of us to once again challenge President Bush’s policies,” Mr. Levin said as the general and the ambassador sat motionless at the witness table. Senator Levin said the current Shiite-led government in Baghdad has shown “incompetence” and “excessive sectarian” policies.

The fact that an occupying force of American soldiers will be in Iraq for the foreseeable future is clear.  And wrong.  Has no one ever read the history of the Middle East in the Bush White House?

It has been widely anticipated that American troop levels in Iraq would be held steady for some weeks after the departure by July of five extra brigades ordered to Iraq last year by President Bush. There would be 15 combat brigades and close to 140,000 troops remaining in Iraq.

Given the time required to remove troops from Iraq or to halt departures of heavy equipment from the United States, senior officials have said that even under the best of circumstances no more than two or three more brigades could be brought home before Mr. Bush leaves office in January.

Even if all goes well, more than 100,000 troops would probably remain in Iraq into next year, leaving any decision on major reductions to the next president.

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List Of Democratic Superdelegates Around The Nation, And If They Support Barack Obama Or Hillary Clinton

As the Democratic race for the party nominaiton continues, here is the latest information on how the superdelegates have aligned themselves between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

I find it amusing that Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl can’t make a decision…….

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